Claude Lefort, 1924-2010

The French philosopher and political theorist Claude Lefort has passed away at the age of 86. Lefort was a co-thinker of Cornelius Castoriadis when the two worked together on the journal Socialisme or Barbarie (Lefort’s pseudonym was Montal). He last contributed to the journal in 1956 and split with Henri Simon to form a group […]

Ernst Bloch, nonsynchronism, and the Tea Party movement

The fever pitch of commentary on the racist and reactionary political phenomenon that goes by the name “Tea Party” since the recent primary elections necessitates at least an attempt at a class analysis of this movement. The often-used term “populist” is an inadequate description, as there have been strong movements in U.S. history with what […]

A Comment on Hayek

Jennifer Schuessler has a fascinating essay on the forgotten history of Friedrich von Hayek’s American enthusiasts (“Hayek: The Back Story”) in the July 11 The New York Times Book Review.  She details a cartoon version of The Road To Serfdom based on a condensed version of the text published in a mass edition by Reader’s […]

‘A Machine With a Single Spring’

The recent verdict and sentence announced in the trial of Khmer Rouge prison warden Kaing Guek Eav calls the world’s attention, however fleetingly, to the experience of Cambodia in the Pol Pot years. The Khmer Rouge seized complete control of Cambodia in April 1975 and embarked upon a methodical four-year attempt at a reconstruction of […]

‘These nasty vessels’ : Was the BP Oil Disaster Forseen in Andre Breton’s Soluble Fish?

I am in the process of reading Ferdinand Alquié’s The Philosophy of Surrealism (an important book I hope to return to in the near future) and came across the striking passage below from André Breton’s Soluble Fish (1924). Alquié includes this brief excerpt while discussing water imagery in the section titled “Derealization” of Chapter 2, […]

Marxist Scholars: Paresh Chattopadhyay

The list of contemporary academics producing scholarship on Marx worth reading is, sadly, a short one. Paresh Chattopadhyay, however, has a secure place on it. Chattopadhyay, a faculty member of the Department of Sociology of the University of Montreal, has made an interesting intellectual journey from close association with the thought of Charles Bettelheim, a […]